The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, Hammerfest

Categories: History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.5/5 based on 110+ reviews on the web
The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society is a small museum in the town of Hammerfest, Norway. The significance of the polar bear is that this animal is the town's mascot and heraldic crest.For all its remoteness, Hammerfest has a long history as a trading port, and Isbjørnklubben as it is called in Norwegian - meaning simply Polar Bear Club - sets out to commemorate this. In the museum's single room are a variety of mementos of the early life of Hammerfest, including a profusion of stuffed animals, early Arctic hunting, traveling and camping equipment, and a gallery of photographs, paintings, drawings and writings of and from the town's history. The depict the town as it was in previous centuries, showing that as far back as the seventeenth century CE, this tiny town was a nexus for travelers and traders in the far north and a meeting point for the isolated people of North Norway, traders sailing up from southern Europe and hunters and traders coming west from the Arctic Ocean and Russia.Founded in 1963 by two local businessmen, the Polar Bear Club is not particularly ancient. Primarily, it is a somewhat jokey amenity for tourists. Although entrance to the actual museum is for a nominal charge, visitors are encouraged to join the Society, which is rewarded with a membership pack, the contents of which include a certificate, a sticker, a hat, a membership card and a lapel pin. Since the only way to join is in person at the museum, this pin signifies as proof of visiting this remote place.
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  • Nice presentation of arctic and polar bear history and current status. Well worth a visit. Free entry. 
  • I had been looking forward to coming here for a long time and I definitely wasn't disappointed. The museum is very informative and I love it that you can become a member of the society. The shop has a...  read more »
  • Easy to find on the Quay, interesting exhibits, combined with the tourist information office. Become a member of this Royal and Ancient Society:) 
  • A very impressive, interesting museum.Didn't have time enough to see all the objects and to read the manuscripts. Purchased a fantastic book on West-Finnmark and became member of the Polar Bear Society! A MUST and not to be missed! Love to re-visit one day....
  • Very impressive exabition that we visited back in 1999 or 2000. I became a lifetime member but was not able to visit yearly congress
  • Amazing place
  • Only if you are local you can become a member. One-time fee is payable.
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  • Small but fine Museum. Now we are also Club members.
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